Great sioux nation

Indigenous Peoples South Dakota-Wyoming Immersion Trip

Great Sioux Nation Indigenous Peoples South Dakota Immersion Experience

August 7- 13, 2022

Join us to experience the challenges and joys of the Great Sioux Native American Nation in the context of Maryknoll’s mission work with other indigenous peoples around the world.

Indigenous people are rich in ancient traditions and culture, but oftentimes pushed to the margins of society. Nonetheless, they have many lessons to share about caring for life-in all its forms. The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers are privileged to accompany and serve the indigenous peoples around the world, including Indonesia, Tanzania, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia. Living side-by-side with the Maryknollers have helped empower indigenous peoples, to embrace their spirituality and culture, combat poverty, build communities grounded in peace and social justice.

This immersion trip is offered to contextualize and reflect on the experience of our brothers and sisters of the Great Sioux Native American Nation in South Dakota and Wyoming in light of the challenges and opportunities facing indigneous people around the world.

Participants will:

  • learn about the history, culture and spirituality of the Lakota People

  • hear the intergenerational stories of suffering and resilience from a people who had their land and culture ripped away from them

  • gain firsthand insight into the trauma and injustices that have unfolded during the reservation era through genocide, relocation and poverty

  • see signs of hope springing forth from the cultural revitalization that is happening on the reservations today

  • appreciate the importance and prevalence of the culture and spirituality in Lakota communities, and how those traditional practices are kept alive today

  • better understand how the experience of the Lakota People relates to and is connected with that of other indigenous groups around the world

We will visit:

  • The Rosebud Lakota Sioux Reservation, as well as the Pine Ridge and Crow Creek Sioux Reservations

  • The Sundance Grounds will familiarize participants with the Native American Sun Dance ceremony, an indigenous religious tradition to reunite and reconnect with the earth and the spirits.

  • Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial

  • Black Hills, including Crazy Horse Memorial and Devils Tower National Monument

  • Saint Joseph’s Indian School

Using the see/judge/act methodology of the pastoral circle the group will bring what they learn and experience into daily community prayer and faith sharing. Through theological reflection, we will discern how God is prompting us and our communities to better accompany, serve and advocate for indigenous peoples not only in the United States, but throughout the world.


Our trip will be facilitated by Dr. Gary Cheeseman, a professor of American Indian Education at the University of South Dakota (https://www.usd.edu/research-and-faculty/faculty-and-staff/gary-cheeseman), who who will draw on his own experience as a Native American. In addition, via webinar, Maryknoll Fr. Steve Judd, MM will share the realities and context of indigenous people from around the world, as well as Maryknoll’s stories of accompanying and serving them in their challenges and joys.

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Deadline to Apply: July 1, 2022

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination required including booster(s).

Trip includes fees, hotel and retreat center lodging, breakfasts and ground transportation during the immersion trip. A donation of $1200 is requested to cover these costs based on double occupancy (add $350 for single occupancy.) Scholarships may be available particularly for young adults and church ministers.

Participants are responsible for travel expenses to and from the Omaha Eppley International Airport (OMA) and for their own lunches and dinners at restaurants during the trip.

Learn more about what to expect on a Maryknoll Immersion Trip at www.maryknoll.us/mission-trips

If you are interested in this unique opportunity, please click the APPLY NOW link above and we will be in contact with you for next steps.

Please contact Kris East at (510) 276-5021 or keast@maryknoll.org for additional information.